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Distance Selling Regulations checklist

Distance selling at a glance will help you determine whether the Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) apply to your business. They will apply if you sell goods or services to consumers without face-to-face contact. If they do apply, then this checklist will help you determine what you need to do to comply.

Pre-contract information you must provide to your customers before they decide to buy

Use this list if you sell goods or services to consumers without face-to-face contact.

Under the DSRs, you are required to provide the following pre-contract information to your customers before they decide to buy, in clear and understandable language.
Your identity, including enough detail for the customer to be able to identify the business they are dealing with.
 
A description of the main characteristics of the goods or services you are offering.

The price of the goods or services you are offering, including all taxes.
Details of any delivery costs.
Details of how payments can be made.
Your full geographic address, if payment is required in advance
  • which means your home address if you are trading from home.
The arrangements for delivery of the goods or the performance of the service
  • for example, when customers can expect delivery of the goods or expect the service to start

  • the contract should be performed within 30 days unless the parties agree to a different period.
Information about your customers’ right to cancel, where applicable.
If customers have to use a premium-rate phone number, you must include the cost of the call (including taxes) before any charges are incurred for the phone call

this may be the cost of the call per minute (including VAT) or an indication of the likely cost of the whole call (including VAT)

you should also tell your customers that the cost of the call may differ from that quoted, depending on their network provider.

 How long the price or the offer remains valid.
The minimum length of the contract, where goods or services are to be provided permanently or recurrently, for example on an ongoing or open-ended basis.
That you intend to supply substitute goods or services should those ordered be unavailable, if this is the case, and that you will pay the cost of your customers returning any substitute products.

This pre-contractual information can be given by any method appropriate to the form of distance communication you are using to agree the contract, providing it is in clear and understandable language.

This information can be

  • provided on a website if you sell goods and services over the internet
  • sent via email
  • included in a catalogue for goods and services sold by mail order
  • sent via fax
  • given over the phone if you are selling goods and services by phone.

Written and additional information you must provide to your customers after they decide to buy

Before the conclusion of the contract or in ‘good time’ afterwards, you must re-confirm some of the pre-contract information in writing or another durable medium unless you have already done so. Information is said to be received in good time if customers have sufficient time to act on it when they receive it, for example, to enable them to exercise their right to cancel, and it must be supplied during performance of a services contract or, at the latest, at the time of delivery of goods.

The information that you must re-confirm in a durable medium is indicated with an asterisk in the list on the previous page.

And you must also provide the following additional information in a durable medium.

When and how customers can exercise their rights under the DSRs to cancel, including

for goods – whether you require goods to be returned by the customer and, if so, who will pay for their return

for services – the consequence of agreeing to a service starting before the end of the usual seven working day cancellation period.

Details of any guarantees or after-sales services.
The geographic address of the business to which the customer may direct any complaints. There is no definition of ‘geographic address’ in the DSRs but our view is that this means a physical location, so a PO box address is not sufficient.
If a contract lasts more than a year or is open-ended, the contractual conditions for terminating it. This safeguards you as well as the customer, as both parties have the same information.

OFT 15.09.2011